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Torches in the Night

Haunted Kauai: The Legend of the Hukai'po

October 02, 2017

Native islanders love a good ghost story, and the retelling of spooky tales has been used through the ages to provide entertainment, share history, and shape culture. But of all the tales told about ghosts and supernatural events in Kauai, one of the most chilling and fascinating is that of the Hukai'po, or the Night Marchers. The legend of these armed warriors, who are reputed to be members of the original royal guards, is commonly shared across the island.

In ancient times, it was forbidden for commoners to gaze upon royalty, and the guards escorting the royal family would instantly kill anyone who did not prostrate themselves on the ground and avert their eyes. Legend has is that the Night Marchers appear only during certain times of the year, in specific locations, and most often at night. If you’re out walking late at night, you have a chance of encountering them. Their presence is often preceded by the sounds of conch horns, of chanting and marching, and by the smell of smoke from the torches that are still held high by each of the Hukai'po.